I spent a few days at the Adidas ABCD camp in Teaneck New Jersey last week (Thursday night and Friday morning). This is my third year at the camp. Thanks once again to Bob for arranging my press credentials. I have to admit that in some ways, the camp was not as exciting this year. I attribute that to the fact that my first year it was such a novelty to see all of the big-time coaches up close. Last year was the first time for me to talk with any coaches (Jay Price and Bruce Weber). This year, I guess I am getting used to it. I was a little disappointed that Coach Price and Coach Weber were not there as I was looking forward to talking to them again. On the other hand, it was very cool to spend about an hour with Coach Cuonzo Martin.
The camp format: There are four courts side by side with bleachers on both ends. The coaches all sit on one end and the players are on the opposite side. The coaches canít talk to the players, but the coaches move around to watch the game in which the player they are recruiting is playing. The coaches are almost all wearing some sort of gear from their school. There are assistants and head coaches in attendance along with a smattering of press and fans ($5 per session for the general public). Big time coaches were in attendance like Calapari, Calhoun (UConn), Montgomery (Stanford) and Roy Williams to name a few. There seemed to be a few less than the last 2 years. No Izzo, Patino or Billy Donovan this year. My sense was that many of them were at Nike this year and did not make it in for the last day or two of Adidas.
I watched a few games and then grabbed Coach Cuonzo Martin and we spent the last game of Thursday night talking about Purdue basketball and various other topics. Last year Coach Price was very clear what was on the record and off the record. Coach Martin was not so clear this year, so I will relate things that I feel are appropriate and try to filter things that he did not intend for general consumption. I am paraphrasing the conversation so I may get things slightly wrong here and there, as I was not taking notes. All misinterpretations can be blamed on me.
I will post a few separate posts: one for next yearís team, one for general state of the program and random thoughts and one for recruiting.
Let me finish by saying that after talking to Coach Martin, I am really excited about next yearís team and the players we have in the program. After wallowing in the negativity that you see on the boards about the direction of the program and issues with recruiting, retirement, succession, etc., it was great to be excited about Purdue basketball again. All of the issues for the future are still there, but the near term future on the court is very bright.
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